Aumont has yet to show he can play big league baseball, in this, his fifth season in the system. He's still here because Ruben Amaro Jr. simply won't admit he messed up the Cliff Lee trade to Seattle in December of 2009. Oh, don't get me wrong, J.C. Ramirez went much earlier, and Tyson Gillies finally went after five seasons of showing he can't play AAA baseball, but Aumont is the great hope of Ruben. He refuses to admit his failings, even to the detriment of his baseball team.
Speaking of his failings, since everyone wants to fire him and have their own lists of what he's done wrong, here's mine:
- His draft failures. Name me a plus draft he's had since taking over the team. This is actually a bigger reason than the trades for why the minor league system went from great when he took over, to what it is today.
- His international signing failures. For a team that has spent as much money as we have, he hasn't landed a lot of the premium, big hyped international prospects that have come over. For our MAG's, and our Maikel Franco's (who I think we kind of just got lucky on), we didn't even get in the ball game for the Tanakas, Darvishs, Cespedes, and Puigs of the world.
- The Cliff Lee trade. We gave away a season of Cliff in his prime for Phillippe Aumont at this point. You just can't whiff this badly on trades like that.
- The Hunter Pence trades. Let me get this straight, we gave up a bunch of stud prospects to get an All-Star caliber outfielder, kept him for a calendar year, then flipped him for what amounts to Tommy Joseph at this point (who hasn't played 100 games in our system yet)? Joseph's health is bad luck. Ruben's lack of a plan isn't.
- The Howard contract. If he hadn't torn his achilles, it would have just been an overpay that lasted too long. His physical decline has taken a bad contract and made it into an albatross. Now we're going to end up either paying for him to go elsewhere or releasing him and paying all that money.
- His outfield moves. He started with Ibanez, Victorino, and Werth. Now he's got one outfielder that should even be discussed with those guys. Werth, Victorino, Moss, and Pence have all moved on to success elsewhere. You miss Pat Burrell yet?
- His philosophy on building a bench is stupid. You pick your bench players for their ability to pick up a bat late in the game and go hit. The bench the Phillies took into the post-season in 2008 shouldn't even be mentioned in comparison to this unit, but it has to be in order to understand the failing. No one fears John Mayberry Jr. coming up to hit in the end of a game. I think this is an obvious one though, as we've released several players, again, from our bad bench.
- He holds on too long. Yes, ticket sales are good for the team, but the reality is that it's time to move on from the 2008 team, and has been for two years. We now face declining values and ten-and-five rights galore.
- Player development. Can someone please explain to me how Jesse Biddle became more of a mess as he aged? He's not alone here, but we seem to make a lot of guys worse somewhere around Clearwater or Reading.
- He overpays and allows guys to overstay on his contracts. That teams are balking at all the player options he gives out is a real problem. We can't trade guys to get talent and rebuild because Ruben lets them all name their price and their length of stay.